YOU HACK IT, YOU BREAK IT. THE PROBLEM WITH OPTIMIZING BLOOD SUGAR AND WHAT TO DO INSTEAD.
With knowledge comes power.
Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are tiny disks that you embed on your arm that give you realtime information about your blood sugar levels through your phone.
By having realtime information, we shorten the learning curve by seeing our outputs (blood glucose in this case) in real time so that we can adjust our inputs to change it. It’s revolutionary.
However, we need to be mindful about what those inputs are and, more importantly, how they align to our larger natural patterns.
An example of a short term cycle would be how we control our blood sugar. When it goes up, insulin brings it down. When it goes down, glucagon or cortisol or adrenaline or a Twinky (hopefully not 😂) brings it up.
These changes can happen over the course of minutes.
An example of a longer cycle would daily patterns like feeding and fasting, exercising and resting, light and dark.
If we focus too much on controlling blood sugar, we can achieve this at the expense of harmony with the other cycles.
For example, when we eat, blood flows to our digestive organs and away from our muscles so that we can digest our food. This is a natural rhythm. But if we try to hack our high blood sugar with exercise, we may achieve this but at the expense of healthy digestion.
So ideally, we use blood sugar as feedback while doing regular practices that will improve our short term and our long term health. We then can note if this results in healthy changes or if we need to make further adjustments to our program.
Change inputs → Improve processes → Note outputs → Feedback to Inputs. Repeat.
We also want to be systematic when changing our inputs. If we change our diet, our exercise and our sleep, and then we get an output such as headaches, we don’t really know what’s caused it.
But we always want to give our body a beat to adjust to any changes we make before drawing conclusions.